Rusty Croft takes sand castles very seriously. The American artist designed this 39' 4" sand castle in Niteroi, outside Rio de Janeiro; a team of 15 people worked for a week to build it. Croft and his team are being sponsored by Caterpillar and another American company promoting its brand in Brazil, but the builders are hoping Guinness World Records certifies their sand castle as the world's tallest — the current record is held by Ed Jarrett, who built his 37' 10" castle at in Farmington, Connecticut, in May 2011.
Beating Jarrett is Croft's problem; the rest of us get to admire what humanity can do with heavy machinery and 20 truckloads of special rain-resistant sand. --Peter Weber